It's been absolutely ages since I reviewed any of the books I've been reading...I've plum forgotten what some of them were about! Let's see if I can remember and share with you all...

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg is one of the books that contributed to my "summer slump". You know how you get in those zones where several books in a row sound oh-so-promising, and then you get into them, and they take ages and ages to get through...which is a sign that maybe it's not so good? This was one of those. In a nutshell, the mother is morbidly obese, the father walks out, the family falls apart, chaos ensues. Too bad I didn't have a bit of sympathy for any of the characters or situations (and I TOTALLY empathize with an eating disorder, believe me!), and didn't even enjoy the writing. Eventually, I just gave up. :-(

He's Gone by Deb Caletti was another one - great reviews, interesting premise, but...didn't satisfy. One night, Dani's husband vanishes, and the book is about whether he left her, something happened, or she did something. But after all her ruminations and wanderings and whinings, I ended up so not caring. Another dud for me. :-(

If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a young adult novel that is being adapted for the big screen, so I was eager to give it a quick read. It is indeed quick, but ultimately unsatisfying. In a very Lovely Bones style, Mia is in a car accident that claims her entire (entirely perfect) family, and leaves her limbo..should she live or die. She witnesses what goes on around her before making her decision. Good enough, but with so much other quality YA fiction out there, why did this one in particular rise to the top?

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver was the last of my "summer slumps" and again revolved around a family and weight gain (which seems to be this summer's book theme. Last summer? Amnesia. Seriously.) Anyhoo, when Pandora's brother Edison comes to Iowa for a visit, she is stunned by his weight gain, and decides to take drastic measures to help him regain his health. This book, which I did finish by skimming, because so tedious and self-pretentious and annoying (and I don't even want to TALK about the end) that I hated it by the end, but I finished it, dammit! Not a good one. :-(

I think I need some fluffy, cotton candy books to counter-balance the "duds of summer", don't you?

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